May 2019

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Subscribers Only - In the product warranty article in the April 2019 Aviation Consumer we described reader Joel Rosenlicht’s experience with the Rolls-Royce 250-B17F turboprop engine in his Silver Eagle-converted Cessna P210.

When Warranty Stands Over Good Faith

In the product warranty article in the April 2019 Aviation Consumer we described reader Joel Rosenlicht’s experience with the Rolls-Royce 250-B17F turboprop engine in his Silver Eagle-converted Cessna P210.

Letters From Readers: May 2019

I would guess that I’m not the only reader who is not in the aviation business. My plane is an avocation, one that I love, but that often must take a back seat to work, family, travel and other commitments. Here in Southwest Florida, it often seems that great flying weather occurs on non-flying days, and days that I’ve scheduled to get up in the air have clouds and thunderstorms building by 10 a.m. The end result is that, while I try to fly at least weekly, there are multiple occasions each year where the aircraft sits idle for at least 30 days.

SkyBeacon Retrofits: Two Upgrades in One

Let’s be realistic—when it comes to avionics installations there isn’t much that can be done in an hour, except getting the aircraft in the hangar and the toolbox rolled out. But since its introduction a couple of years ago, it’s been said that the now STC-approved and TSO-certified uAvionix skyBeacon wingtip ADS-B Out/LED lighting device is the one-hour ticket to complying with the 2020 mandate.

Dynon D3 Pocket Panel: Touchscreen, Compact

Subscribers Only - The idea behind Dynon's latest D3 is the same as the earlier D1 and D2 models: packaging backup attitude data into a completely portable, battery-powered, GPS-equipped instrument. Of course with no required connection to the aircraft, and with a couple of mounting options, the D3 can easily be moved between aircraft (provided you've charged it) and serve as backup for electrical and vacuum system failures. Since the D3 is a portable device with no certification, it can't legally be used as a standalone primary instrument in certified aircraft.

The ATP Rating: Expensive Training

Subscribers Only - It's aviation's Everest: the highest rating, the toughest to obtain and necessary to have to fly in the Part 121 airline world, and even in some portions of the Part 135 air taxi world. In reality, if you want to fly for a living, the chances are almost unity that you'll need to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) rating to do so. Even in the corporate world, operating under Part 91, insurers want the pilots who haul mega-buck executives around to hold aviation's Ph.D.

Garmin's Full Circle: Two New Panel GPSs

At the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Palm Springs, Garmin unwrapped the GPS 175, an old-school standalone IFR navigator with LPV approach capability and a companion product that's something we weren't sure was even possible, never mind that anyone would want. The GNX 375 combines the standalone GPS navigator with ADS-B In and Out in the form of a Mode-S transponder. It's essentially Garmin's hot-selling GTX 345 1090ES transponder mashed together with the navigator. Neither of these units have comm capability, however, so they're not a straight-up replacement for the GTN-series mapcomms nor a new-age GNS 430/530.

MGF HUD: Credible Contender

HUDs are simple in concept, but not so simple to engineer and install. They're basically an optical projector that displays an informationally compressed flight data display on a glass screen called a combiner. The idea is that the pilot can look through the display and see critical data such as attitude and airspeed while avoiding the distraction of looking down at the panel. The display has to be engineered in such a way that the data appears almost at infinity, so as to be an aid, not a distraction.

Tire Retreads: Strong, Cheaper

Subscribers Only - Aircraft tires are highly engineered and are remarkably strong for their size. They often go from 0 MPH to 80 or more MPH in an instant without distorting enough to come off of the rim, plus they have to hold pressure at these high speeds. If the airplane is a little cockeyed on landing, the tires sustain tremendous side loads, far greater than ever expected of an auto tire. The tires have to be balanced to eliminate wobble, which can be quite pronounced at landing speeds and can transfer vibration to the airframe, creating shaky rollouts. There's plenty of engineering involved. The tires are designed by computer for different loads and speeds, and the tread design is optimized for landing on the different surfaces we see in our operations.

Piper's New Trainer: New Glass and Engine

Subscribers Only - The IO-370-D3A Prime to be used on the Pilot 100 makes 180 HP at 2700 RPM. The TBO is 2200 hours. Piper's Caldecott pointed out that the company thought long and hard for over three years about which engine and avionics it would use in the trainer, which had to be priced well south of $300,000-a price that might be the sweet spot for healthy flight schools. "There is nobody else there at that price point," Caldecott said.

Cessna 182 Skylane:

Subscribers Only - Except for its intolerance for mismanagement on and around the runway—giving it a not so respecful ranking in the NTSB reports—we suspect buyers are comfortable with long-term Skylane ownership. For many, it’s as far up the pecking order as they’ll go in their flying careers.